CINCINNATI (TDB) -- U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, who faces an OH-02 primary against a Republican rival angling for evangelical and family values voters, is going to get important face time at a national Values Voters Summit later this month in Washington.
Eight GOP presidential candidates will appear at the gathering, which is called the Washington Briefing 2007 and is billed as the largest confab of values voters ever. Schmidt is on the opening day schedule, and appears with two other right-leaning GOP congresswomen immediately before an address by Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and Republican presidential candidate. Rudy Giuliani also plans to appear, which for him will be like walking into the lion's den.
Details about the conference are here and here. It is a huge conclave of actors in the Christian right, and is cosponsored American Values, Focus on the Family, FRC Action, Alliance Defense Fund and High Impact Leadership Coalition. There will be a presidential straw poll and FRC Action President Tony Perkins' organization calls it "the first pulse-taking of values voter activists now that the (presidential field) is complete."
More is in the press release that describes the straw poll, the speaker list and Giuliani's acceptance of an invitation to attend, which puts him a center stage in hostile territory. Many leaders int he values voters movement have said they cannot support the former New York mayor, who has been married three times, supports gay rights and is not adamant in repealing Roe v. Wade.